FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Location Of The Dance
Auld Recreation Center in Antelope Park, 1650 Memorial Park drive (Off A Street). The Auld Recreation Center is a beautiful, climate controlled hall with a wooden floor. Family friendly environment (smoke and alcohol free). The park can be accessed by turning onto Memorial drive from A street, South Street or Garfield when coming from 27th St. Watch for signs. Here’s a map & detailed directions.
What’s the cost?
It does cost money to put on the contra dances, so we suggest donations of $8 for adults and $5 for students. Children under 12 are always FREE! (Adult supervision required.) Suggested special max family donation of $20. (Contra dancing is fun for kids too!)
What is Contra Dancing?
Contra dancing is one of the traditional North American dance forms. A contra dance is danced with couples in long parallel lines called “sets”. Each couple moves up and down the hall during the dance so that during the course of each dance you will get to dance with everyone in your set. Contra dancing originated in New England where it descended from English Country dancing and other Western European folk dancing. If you’ve ever done any folk dances from the British Isles, or Scandinavia, you’ll be comfortable with contra dancing straight away. Many of the figures in contra dancing are the same as those in square dancing, so if you’ve ever been square dancing you’ll recognize the calls immediately. (Additional definitions and explanations of contra dancing)
What if I’ve never danced before?
Contra dancing is one of the easiest types of dancing. All you need is energy and enthusiasm! Almost everybody picks up contra dancing the very first dance they try. Your feet are never asked to do more than walk to the music. Children as young as six or seven can contra dance. Dances are always taught before hand from 7:15 pm to 7:30 pm and walked through at least once. During the dance the caller prompts you what to do next. During a dance the steps repeat many times so you soon learn what to do. If you’re new to contra dancing it is helpful to come at 7:30 for the free beginner’s class because all the basic figures will be carefully explained for the first few dances.
Do I need to bring a partner?
No. In fact, in contra dancing it is normal to dance with a new partner each dance. It is also definitely OK for women to ask men to dance. Since each couple dances with every other couple in their set each dance, by the end of the evening you will probably have danced with everyone in the hall! And, if you do bring friends, they'll be grateful.